The United States of America is known as the land of opportunity. It offers many people the chance to live and work here legally. This is why a lot of people seek to get a green card-which is essentially a permanent resident status that allows someone to live and work here legally.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are five main types of green cards: family-based, employment-based, humanitarian, special immigrants, and investors. Each type has different requirements for eligibility and the application process.
- Family-based green cards are available to immediate relatives of United States citizens. This includes spouses, children (under 21 years old) and parents. Other family members such as siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins may also be eligible for this type of green card depending upon the circumstances.
- Employment-based green cards are available to those who have been employed by an American company for a certain amount of time or to those who have extraordinary skills in certain areas. Eligibility and the application process vary depending on the type of job and other factors.
- Humanitarian green cards are available to people who have fled their home countries due to persecution, natural disaster, or other crisis. People who have been granted asylum or refugee status in the U.S. may be eligible for this type of green card, among others.
- Special immigrants are those who are employed by a religious organization, international organization, or in diplomatic service to the United States. This type of green card can also be available to those who have served in the US military.
- Investors or those with significant capital investments in the United States may also be eligible for a green card. This type of application is complex and requires extensive documentation.
No matter what type of green card you are applying for, the application process is essentially the same. You will need to complete Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and submit it along with supporting documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other evidence of eligibility. Once your application has been approved you will receive a Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card).
How to apply for a green card?
It is important to remember that the application process can be complex and time-consuming. Therefore, it is highly recommended you seek legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer to guide you throughout the process. The lawyer will help explain all of your options, review your documents and assist with any questions or issues that may arise during the course of your application.
Tips for success when applying for a green card
As we mentioned earlier, the application process can be complex and time-consuming. The following tips can help make the entire process easier:
- Gather all the required documents before you apply to make sure your application is complete. This includes any birth or marriage certificates, ID documents, and other evidence of eligibility.
- Make sure all your forms are filled out correctly. Any mistakes can lead to delays in the process.
- Double-check your application before you submit it to make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date.
- Consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to understand all your options and ensure your application is complete and correct.
- Be prepared for the interview process by having all of the required documents ready to present if needed.
By taking the time to prepare correctly, you can increase your chances of getting a green card in the United States.
What happens when you get approved for a green card?
Once your application is approved, you will receive an official document called the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card). This card must be carried with you at all times and serves as proof of your legal status in the United States. It also gives you certain benefits such as the ability to work and travel freely in the US.
It is important to remember that a green card does not guarantee a path to US citizenship and must be renewed every 10 years. In order to become a citizen, you will need to apply for naturalization and meet the requirements outlined by USCIS.
Getting a green card can be a lengthy process, but by following the steps outlined above and consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer, you can maximize your chances of success.